It’s that time of the year again when people begin pieces with “it’s that time of the year again” and tweak the end bit slightly to sound cool and “alternative”.
I refer, of course, to the awkward period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Hands grip wobbling bellies in the aftermath of a national pudding massacre as their owners ponder how they will lose the extra baggage before the all-important New Year’s party.
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Shortbread and crust-less sandwiches are unlikely arsenal but they’re about to be deployed by an army of angry tea drinkers in a little pocket of Great Britain this weekend and they mean business.
Tomorrow afternoon around the tables of a tiny tea shop in Cambridgeshire, little fingers will be raised in solidarity against a recent fluctuation in “coffee bars” that many fear have contributed to “the lost art of drinking tea”.
“We are losing sense of ourselves with coffee bars like Starbucks and Costa Coffee where you slurp coffee through spouts in paper cups or rushed tea in mugs or chunky cups. The whole experience of sitting down with a proper china cup and saucer and having a good natter - which of course it what used to happen - is in danger of being lost,” says Tania Baker, the owner of By Jove! Tea Rooms in Burrell who is hoping to inspire tea drinkers everywhere with her “very proper” protest that involves dressing in period costume and “taking tea”.
But it could be a very lonely little protest; according to the Telegraph British people still drink approximately 165 million cups of tea everyday and thanks to the growth of retro tea rooms, traditional tea drinking is actually “back in fashion”.
At least they won’t go hungry.
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Ever since The Beatles took their free-love tour of Rishikesh in 1968 western culture has had a love affair with Indian spirituality; but we’ve never been more confused about the philosophy of its main tenet - to “free” ourselves of inhibitions and let it all hang out.
News reports yesterday announced that the Kama Sutra, the ancient Hindu book on “the art of love” and sexual practice is getting a modern re-write.
And even though it’s author, Indian scholar, A.N.D Haskar claims the new version will be “as close as possible” to the original text, it’s sounds more like a polite, stitched up version of a lifestyle magazine than the guidebook to free love.
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